Encyclopedia of Religion now available online

Written by Robert Sivigny, Divinity Librarian

Want to know more about the Baha’i, Hindu, or Shinto religion; or for that matter, any other religion in the world? The Library has just purchased an online subscription to the Encyclopedia of Religion, a 15-volume standard reference in the field of religious studies. Now online students can benefit from this marvelous resource of authoritative articles written by renowned scholars from around the globe. The ability to search the full text of these volumes by keyword makes available a whole new realm of religion research.

One of the best features of the Encyclopedia of Religion is the marvelous bibliographies that accompany most of the articles. Here is a way to find out what are good books on your topic because these bibliographies are contributed by experts in the field. From these lists you can take each of the entries, open the Regent Library catalog to see if they are available in the Library, and request books or articles through the Regent InterLibrary Loan system if they are not. You know that you are on the right track for getting the best resources for your paper.

The first edition of the Encyclopedia of Religion (1987), edited by Mircea Eliade, was widely regarded as the standard reference work for the study of religion. For the second edition (2005), a team of international scholars completely revised and updated the first edition, while adding nearly 600 new articles. According to Gale, “this new edition is the definitive work in the field for the 21st century.”

To access this encyclopedia just open the Gale Virtual Reference Library on the Library database page. Once the program is open you can find the Encyclopedia of Religion either by clicking on the subject of “Religion” at the left-hand margin or scroll down to locate the religion section alphabetically.